Earlier this year, we reported that Takata, the Japanese auto parts maker that was charged with criminal fraud for covering up faulty airbags, had agreed to pay a $1 billion settlement after a US federal investigation. This week, Nissan agreed to pay $97.7 million in a class-action settlement due to customers' economic loss because of the recall of 4.4 million vehicles equipped with Takata airbag inflators.
While the car company is not admitting fault, this settlement is similar to others currently being negotiated. Autoblog reports that a federal judge preliminary approved settlements with BMW, Toyota, Subaru and Mazda for $553 million total, covering 15.8 million vehicles. Honda and Ford have not yet reached a settlement.
The settlement covers various hardships associated with the recall, including compensation for out-of-pocket expenses, rental cars and a customer support program. It's important to note that as few as 30 percent of Nissan vehicles with these potentially dangerous Takata inflators have been fixed; another part of the settlement will cover customer outreach to contact owners of vehicles that need to be brought in. If you're the owner of a Nissan (or any other vehicle) and want to check if your car might be equipped with Takata airbag inflators, the NTSA has a handy list of models you can check against. The list isn't exhaustive, though, so if you want to be extra sure, you can input your car's VIN number to check on recalls.